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Name used since the fifteenth century as synonym for compass. It derives from the "sixth" part of a circle.


A synonym for compass. The term derives from the fact that the radius of a circle, i.e., the opening of a compass, is equivalent to one-sixth the circumference of the circle itself. Hence the compass opening always measures one-sixth of the circumference that it traces.

Author of the entry: Filippo Camerota

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